James Comper Gray.

The Biblical museum : a collection of notes, explanatory, homiletic, and illustrative, on the Holy Scriptures, especially designed for the use of ministers, Bible students, and Sunday school teachers (Volume 9) online

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courage in bis
power of patient
endm-auce.' 'Spk.
c Comp. Eze. iii.

9. Also Je. XV.

10, XX. 2, xxiii.
18, etc., xxvi.
10, XXXV. 15,
xxxviii. 6.

d iiltmsaiidTwigi,

a Eze. xvi. 8;
Ho. ii. 20 : Joel
i. 8.

b " Prob. the v.
is intended to
set forth the zeal
and piety they
had evinced at
that early period,
and which were
as striliingly
contrasted with
their idolatrous
practices at the
time of the
Prophet." — Hen-

c " A people par-
ticularly dedi-
cated to Me, as
the firstfi-uits of
the i.lcrease of
the ground are,
by their law,
consecrated to
God, E.X. xxiii. 19.
d C.tiimevit,M.A,
a Mi. vi. 3.

b Je. .V. 15, xiv.
14, 22, xvi. 19;
1 Co. viii. 4.

c "A people's
character never
rises above that
of its gods, wli.
are its ' better
nature.' " -Bacon.

d Is. Ixiii. 9, 11,
13 ; Ho. xiii. 4.

e "A more fright-
ful desert it had
hardly been our
lot to behold.
The niountaina
beyoud presented



[Cap. il. 5—8,

a niopt uninvit-
iiif; iind liiiloous
aspect ; preci-
picrs and iiakeil
conical praks of
clialky and pra-
Telly formation,
rising one above
anotlier, without
a sign of life or
vegetation." —

f Is. X. 18, xvi.
10, xxxvii. 21.

g Dr. J. I'aiker.

«. 5. W.DiinU>p,i.

vv. 6, 7. E. Sco-
bell, 313.

"After we had
passed the salt
desert, we caiae
to the llalek-el-
moat-dereli, or
the valley of tlie
angel of death.
Tliis extraordi-
nary .ippellation,
and the pi culiar
nature of tlie
■Whole of tins
tract of land,
broken into deep
ravines, wiiliout
■water, of a dreari-
ness without ex-
ample, will, per-
liaps, be found
forcibly to illus-
trate Jer. ii. 6."
— MorUr.

"Upward steals
tlie Hfe of man.
as the sunsliine
from the widl ;
from the wall in-
to the sky ; from
the roof along the
Epire. Ah ! the
souls of those
that die are but
sunbeams lifted
liiglier." — Lumj-

Life is a thing
wliich many peo-
ple seem in a
great hurry to
get rid of, if we
may judg(; by the
nuniiicrof "fast"
young men now-
adays, wlio use
thini-iclves up
with the greatest
apparent sati;-

member the Deliverer : 2. And the Giver. III. The possibility
of the leading minds of the Church being darkened and jierverted.

1. Such men phould watch themselves with constant jealousy;

2. Such men should never be forgotten by those who pray. ^
Kdtr on r. (!. — ^^'hen the Prophet describes this wilderness,

according to our version, as the laud of the shadow of death, his
meaning has been differently understood by diflereut people.
Some have supposed it to mean a ]ilace where there were no
comforts or conveniences of life, but this seems too general : and
to explain it as a jiarticular and distinct member of the descrip-
tion, pointing out some quality different from the other circum-
stances mentioned by Jeremiah, seems to be a more just, as it is
undoubtedly a more lively way of interpreting the Prophet.
Others have accordingly understood this clause as signifying, it
was the habitation of venomous serpents, or destroying beasts ;
some as endangering those that ptissed through it, as being sur-
rounded by the hostile tribes of Arabs : some as being Overshadowed
by trees of a deleterious quality. They might better have intro-
duced the whiilwinds of those southern deserts than the last
particulai-, which winds, taking up the sand in gnat qiiantities,
darken the air. and prove fatal to the traveller. This last would
be giving great beauty and energy to the expression (the shadow
of death), since these clouds of dust, literally speaking, over-
shadow those that have the misfortune to be then passing through
those deserts, and must, at the same time, give men the utmost
terror of t»ing overwhelmed by them, and not uufrequcntly do
in fact jirove deadly. Another clause, a land of pits, is also a
part of the Prophet's description. Irwin affords a good comment
on this part of our translation : in the one place he saj's, " The
])ath winded round the side of the mountain, and to our left, a
horrid chasm, some hundred fathoms deep, presented itself to our
view. It is surprising no accident befell the loaded camels." In
another, " On each side of us were perpendicular steeps some
hut dred fathoms deep. On every part is such a wild confusion
of hanging preciinces, disjointed rocks, and hideous chasms, that
we might well cry out with the poet, ' Chaos is come again.'
Omnipotent Father ! to Thee we trust for our deliverance from
the perils that surround us. ' It was through this wilderness
that Thou didst lead Thy chosen people.' It was here Thou didst
manifest thy signal protection, in snatching them from the jaws
of destruction which opened upon every side." And in the next
I)age, " At two o'clock we came suddenly upon a dreadful chasm
in the rond. which appears to have been the effect of an earth-
quake. It is about three hundred j^ards long, one hundred yards
wide, and as man.y deep ; and, what is a curiosity, in the middle
of the gulf, a single column of stone raises its head to the surface
of the earth. The rudeness of the work, and the astonishing
length of the stone, announce it to be a hisiix nafiirce. though
the robbers declared to us that beneath the column there lies a
prodigious sum of money ; and added, with a grave face, they
have a tradition, that none but a Christian's hand can remove
the stone to come at it. "We rounded the gulf, which was called
Soinnh. and leaving it behind us, we entered a valley where we
found a very craggy road." The fir.=t clause in this x'assage,
through a land of deserts, is the most obscure and difficult to
ascertain. Instead of travelling in the night, as he had proposed,

Cap. ii. 9^19]



to avoid the burning' heat of the sun, he says, " At seven o'clock
we halted for the nig-ht. The Arabs tell us that the roads are
too rugged and dangerous to travel over in the dark." Under
the next day, " \vc reached the foot of a prodigious high moun-
tain, which we cannot ascend in the dark." The following day,
he tells us, " by six o'clock we had accoutred our camels, and
leading them in our hands', began to ascend the mountain on
foot ; as we mounted the steep, we frequently blessed ourselves
that we were not riding, as the path was so narrow, the least
false step must have sent the beast down the bordering precipice."
Under another day he remarks that the greatest part of that
day's journey was " over a succession of hills and dales, where
ths road was so intricate and broken, that nothing but a camel
could get over it. The appearance of the road is so frightful in
many places, that we do not wonder why our people have hitherto
lain by in the night."*

9 — 13. (9) plead, as in a court of Iaw.« with, yoii, the
present generation, children's children,* who will further :
develop the idolatry and rebellion. (10; isles of Cllittim,'^ [
coast lands of the IMediterranean Sea. Kedar, fig. for the [
Eastern lands."* (11) changed their gods, the tenacity with j
which men keep hold of national religions has always been very j
marked, their glory, wh. was the revelation to them of the one, |
living, and spiritual God. (12) very desolate, or diy. The |
heavens are poetically called on to shrivel and dry up in horror j
at such conduct. (13) broken cisterns,'" such as have cracks j
or rents, through which the water wastes away.

The fountnni and the eiatevti (v. 13). — In these two evils we
have ail the sins of the people summed up, — apostasy and self- j
Bufficieucy. I. The fountain forsaken. 1 . Its nature : 2. Its
contents, — God, a Fountain of cleansing influence — of cheering
influence — of reviving power — of fertilising results. This foun- \
tain is forsaken when men cease to think of God as the chief end !
of their life — when they overlook the law of God — when they do |
not cleave to the word of God — when they are beginning to look j
back to old times of bondage — when they look away fi'om the [
cleansing fountain to their own works. II. The cistern pre-
ferred. 1. Domestic happiness : 2. Professional life ; 3. Intellec- 1
tuality ; 4. Social life. III. The disappointment involved. 1.1
That of one who has spent his best time and strength to no pur- j
pose ; 2. Of one who must after all go to the rejected fountain ; }
3. AVho finds that his past life has been a grievous sin. 1

Kdfe on v. 13. — In Eastern language, '• living water"' signifies
Bpringing water, that which bubbles up. The people had for- !
eakeu Jehovah, the never-failing Spring, for the small quantity
which coul* be contained in a cistern ; nay, in broken cisterns, :
which vv'ould let out the water as fast as they received it. When j
people forsake a good situation for that wliich is bad, it is said,
" Yes ; the stork which lived on the borders of the lake, where |
there was a never-failing supply of water, and constant food, has ]
gone to dwell on the biink of a well," i.e. where there is no fish, '
and where the water cannot be had.-^

14—19. (11) slave ? God called him to be son, not slave, Ex.
iv. 22. "Vi'liy . . spoiled ? the answer must be, on account of his
Bins, so he must not charge God with his calamities. (15)

" Far more va-
lued is tlie vine
that beuils be-
iieatli its swell-
ing clusters, than
tlie dark and
joyless ivy, round
the cloister s wall
wreathing its
barren arms."—

h Ilarmer.

a " The expres-
sion is taken
from the pleas of
plain till and de-
fendant, used in
a court of jus-
tice." — Loirth.
b " This e.'vpres-
sion is design-
edly used, to in-
timate that the
final judgment
on the nation
would be sus-
pended for many
generations. " —

c See Kitlim, Ge,
X. 4.

d Ge. xjTf. 13 '
Ps. cxx. 5 ; Cant.
i. 5.

e " The usua.
plan is to dig a
tank in the
ground, build
round with
stonework, some-
times raising this
several feet above
the ground, and
putting on it a
roof. These cis-
terns are very
liable to crack
and leak, e-p.
those near the
surface of the
ground and un-
constructed ; and
no more expres-
sive fig. of un-
could be found
than a leaky
lnt\k."- 17>0Tns<m,
f Robei-ts.

a Comp. Job ir,
10, ll;Ps.X33aT.



[Cap. ii. 20—25.

10, Iviii. 6 ; .Tp. li.
17: Y,7A\ xix. 3,6;
Na!i. ii. 11, 12.
6 " Niipli, or
Menipliis, cnpital
of Lowei MpryiJt,
on the W. bank
of tlie Nile.
Tahapanes, or
Da >'ine, on the
I'Hiiicic branch
of the Nile.
Ilipse two citie.s
B'anl for the
wliule of ICgypt."
— F.tnxxel.
c " The two rivers
are tlie two
empires, and to
fir ink their
waters is to ailii)it
tlieir principles
anil religion." —
Shi. Com.

f. 17. J.Marriott,


d Roseiimuller,

a Ex. xix. f? ; .Tos.
xxiv. 13; Jh. x.
IG ; 1 ?a. xii. 10.

b "It was an in-
cru;tatlan at tlic
1 ot'om of the
lakes, after the
sxinimer heat ha^
evajiorateil the
water. It wa;
u.-e^l for washing.
(Job ix. 30; Pr.
XXV. 20).—Faus-

c "Thoufrh thou
usest ever so
many methoilsof
washing away
thy sins.. ..yet
the marks or
stains will al-
ways ajipear ii'
the sisriit of God,
till they are done
away liy a sincere
reiicntance and
reformation. " —

d C. H. Spurgeon.

a " The people
prob. appealed to
the maintenance
of the <laily sac-
rifice, and the
Jlosaic ritual ;
and even more
confidently per-
haps to Josiali's
splendid restora-
tion of the

' yotin^ lions, type of the dang-ers into wh. Israel's rebellion
liad brouoht liiiii. Lions are soiiietimes taken to rcjiresent the
IJahylouian ]irinccs." (K!) Nopli, Taliapanea/ places in
Koyi)t. broken . . crown, iiuir;/. "feed on thy crown." or
devour the best jiart of thy country. (17) to tliyself, by
thy own doinyfs. (18) \va,7 of E<?ypt, at this time some
of the rulers were inclined to alliance with Egypt, while
others favoured alliance with Assyria.*" (ID) thine . . thee,
the natural consequences of wrong-doing jjrove to be Divine

j\vU' on r. 18. — The Euphrates is always muddy, and the water,
consequently, not good to drink unless it has stood an hour or
two in earthen vessels for the sand and impurities to settle,
which at times lie half a finger thick at the bottom of the vessel.
Hence it was not without reason that the Lord said to the Israel-
ites, by the Prophet Jeremiah, " "What hast thou to do in the way
of AssjTia, to drink the waters of the river .'" (Euphrates.) For
this reason we fnid in the houses of the city and villages, par-
ticularly those lying on the Great River, many large earthen
vessels holding a pailful or two, which they fill from the
Euphrates, and do not use till the impurities have settled at the
bottom, unless they are verj' thirsty, and then they drink through
their pocket-handkerchiefs. — (Rauwolf.)''

20—22. (20) broken thy yoke, which Egypt laid
upon thee. But God gave Israel many gracious deliverances,
and received from Israel repeated promises of I'aithfi;! service."
high hill, rfp.. Is. Ivii. 5 — 7. (21") nohle vine, .s-rr Is. v. 1, etc.
right seed, fructified and of good quality, unto me, or to
my hurt and vexation. (22) nitre, not saltpetre, but the natrnn
of Egypt, a mineral alkali.* sope, Heb. honfh, a vegetable
alkali now called ])ofa.'<h. Combined with oil it was used for
washing, marked, as a stain that cannot be got out."

Sin aroimed hij the law. — A contented citizen of Blilan, who
had never passed beyond its walls during the course of sixty
years, being ordered by its governor not to stir beyond its gates,
became immediately miserable, and felt so powerful an inclina-
tion to do that which he had so long contentedly neglected, that,
on his applicalion for a release from this restraint being refused,
he l)ecame quite melancholy, and at last died of grief. How well
this illustrates the Apostle's confession that he had not known
lust unless the law had said unto him. ''Thou shalt not covet !"
" Sin," saith he, " taking occasion by the commandment, wrought
in me all manner of concupiscence." Evil often sleeps in the
soul until the holy command of God is discovered, and then the
enmity of tlie carnal mind rouses itself to oppose in every way
the will of God. '' Without the law," says Paul, '■ siil was dead."
How vain to hope for salvation from the law, when through the
pei'versity of sin it pi'ovokes our evil hearts to rebellion, and
works in us neither repentance nor love."*

23—25. (23) say, in self-defence." vallej^, of Hinnom. ch.
vii. 32.* swift dromedary, a '• young fem.ale wh. has never had
a foal." (24) wild ass, " symbol of an untamed and reckless
nature." her occasion, the pairing season. (2.")) thirst, or
lusting after these vain idols. " Do not wear out thy shoes and
expose thyself to thii-st and weariness in undertaking long

Cap.ii. 26—34.] JEREMIAH. 15

journeys to make new alliances with idolaters." no hope, } temple, and to
mar<?. " Is the cas-j desperate ? " | ^^'^ suppressiou

Sclf-i-lndicatlnrj sinners reproved (rv. 23, 2i).— I. The self- vin- 1 ship S Baariu
dicatiug ways of sinners. 1. In a Avay of direct denial; 2. Of j such pleas a-
vain excuse ; 3. Of hyiwcritical palliation. II. The charge which r"'''^'l little as
God brings against them. 1. By an appeal to fact ; 2. By a most ' '''""
apt comparison.'^

26—30. (2fi) house of Israel, here the whole Heb. people
remaining in their land. (27) stock, a thing that cannot move
itself, stone, this word being feminine in Hebrew is re^jresented
as a mother, hack" unto me, a token of contempt and aver-
sion. (28) "Where . . gods, why do not they comfort and help
you in your troubles ? cities . . gods, besides the national
deities, tutelary gods abounded. (29) j^lead with me, for help
in trouble-time. (30) sword . . prophets, with prob. allusion
to the violent persecutions of Manasseh.*

as the rites
of Molech were
still privately
practised . ' '— /Sp/t.

b 2 Ki. xxiii. 10.
c C. Simeon, M.A.

a Heb. noreph,
properly the
binder part of
the neck.

6 Josephus tells
us that both the

The folly of neglect inq God (re. 27, 28). — I. The conduct of | ligTousmen'gene-
einners towards their God. 1. It is a state of ease ; 2. Of trouble. I rally, were put to
II. The folly and danger of it. 1. The disappointment it willp^eat'i in large
occasion ; 2. The reflections to which it will give rise. Address relentless Mng.''^
— (1) Those that are at ease in their sins ; (2) Those who are
brought into any kind of trouble; (3) Those that have aheady i "^•'^'''nfon.i/'.J.
begun to seek the Lord." | „ j^^ ^j^^^.^ .

Ihll// of idolnfry .ihotrn. — The following incident occurs in the | foolish wisdom,
life of the Auglo-Saxon missionary, Winfrid, afterwards called i ?o there is a wise
Boniface. On his recommencing his mis.sionary work in Hessia, i ^si^'^'ance, in not
he found that, during his absence (^t Rome), many of the con-
verts had relapsed into their old supeistitions, and therefore
resolved to destroy one of the chief objects of veneration in the
neighbourhood in which he was labouring ; this was an eminent
oak near Giesmar, in Upper Hesse, which for ages had been
eacred to Thor, the god of thunder. Many times had the zealous
missionary declaimed against this idolatry, but without effect.
He determined, therefore, to strike a blow at the object itself,
and remove, if possible, the stumbling-block from their midst.
Jlr. Maclear (Mi.s.fions of the 3Iiddle Aye.t) thus describes the
scene : — " One day, accompanied by all his clergy, he advanced,
axe in hand, to cut down the offending monarch of the forest.
The people assembled in thousands to witness the great contro-
versy between the new and the old belief, many em-aged at the
interference of the stranger preacher, many more conildent tliat
an instant judgment would strike dowTi so daring an offender.
But scarcely had the missionary begun to ])ly his axe than it was
apparent that Thor could not defend his own. If he was a god,
he was certainly either ' gone on a journey,' or was 'asleep and
needed awaking ;' for in vain his votaries supplicated his ven-
geance. After a few blows of the axe, a crashing was heard in
the topmost boughs : a mighty rushing wind, says the chronicler,
seemed to shake every branch, and then the leafy idol came
down to the ground, and split into four quarters. ' The Lord.
He is the God I ' the people shouted, thus acknowledging the
superior might of the new faith."'*



-34. (31) O generation, a highly-impassioned cxclama-
have . . darkness ? a strong appeal." are lords, and

prying into God's
ark, not inquir-
ing into things
not revealed. I
would fain know
all that I need,
and all that I
may : I leave
God's secrets to
Himself. It is
bappy for me
that God makes
me of His court,
though not of
His counciL" —
Bp. Hall.

" A man is never
astonished or
ashamed that he
doesn't know
what another
does, but be is
surprised at tlie
gross ignorance
of the other
in not knowiiig
what he does." —

d Ilassell,

a " So far was

Jehovah from
proving a nig-

wili have our own will. (32) ornaments, Oriental females gardly and au-



[Cap, iil. 1-a

Btere sovereign
to the Jews, that
He hn<l eviuced
Himself to he
tlieir most liberal
benefactor. No-
thing but wan-
tonness con 111
have induced
them to renounce
their subjection
to Hira." — Hen-

i C. Simeon, M. A.

». 34. Dr. G. E.
Biber, 141, 154 ;
£. Bather, i. 86.

" Sincerity 1 thou
first of virtues,
let no mortal
leave thy onward
path, althoupli
tlie earth sliouM
gape, and from
the gulf of hell
destruction cry,
to take dissimu-
lation's wind-
ing way. — Home.

Be truly religi-
ous, and do not
care to seem to
be so.

"Wio by kind-
ness and smooth
attention can in-
sinuate a hearty
■welooMie to an
u n w p 1 c o m e
guest, is a hypo-
crite superior to
a thousand plain
dealers." — i,((ra-

b Roberii.

a " Contrary to
all precedent in
the caae of adul-
terj', Jehovah
offer* a return
to Judali, the
epiritual adul-
teress." — Funssft.
b <S';/r., Viilff.,
Turg., Calvin, elc.
« S^k. Com.

prcatly pride themselves on tlieir ornaments, attire, or g-inllea
for the breast. The r arringe girdle in the E. taking the place
of the marriage ring Vvith us. ('.V.i) trimmest, c/c, makcst
effort to Icam foreign and base idolatries, v/ickcd . . ways,
better, thy ways ^vickedne£S. (34) 'blood., c'c of idolatrous
persecutions : or with a reference to the children offered to
Molech. not . . secret, or by breaking into the house, by
digging through like a lliicf.

(ji)d\s comjh'aiiit arjulnsf Ike rehelJioiis (ri'. 31, 32). — I. God's
appeal in answer to yorr charges against Him. ]. Was He to the
Jews a wilderness or a land of darkness .' 2. Has He in His con-
duct to us deserved any such humiliating imputation .' II. His
charge against you. He complains of two things. 1. The
flagrancy of your rebellion ; 2. The contemptuousness of your
neglect. Apply: — (I) Are any of you disposed to vindicate
yourselves ? (2) Are ary of you humbled under a senso of your
guilt ? "

35 — 37. (3r>) innocent, the people made loud professions, in
the time of the reiom:ation of Josiah, but God knew they were
not sincere, plead, here the word means as a judge, not as a
plaintiff. (30) gaddest, travellest, dost wander about. Turn-
ing now to Egypt and now to Assyria. (37) from him, i.e.
from Egypt, to wh. land the people were then turning, hands
. . head," the sign of failure and despair. " The ambassadors
thou seudest to Egypt shall return with disappointment and con-

j\'()fe on r. 37. — Impenitent Jeriisalem was to be punished
for revolting against God : and, as a token of her misery, she was
to go forth with her "hands on her head.' Tamar '-laid her

j hand on her head," as a tign of her degradation and sorrow.
'When people are in great distress, they put their hands on their
heads, the fingers being c'asped on the top of the crown. Should

I a man who is plunged into wretchedness meet a friend, he
immediately puts his hands on his head to illustrate his circum-

I stances. When a person hears of the death of a relation or friend,
he forthwith clasps his hands on his head. 'When boys have
been punished at school, they run home with their hands on the
same place. Parents are much displeased and alarmed when
they see their children with th:ir hands in that position, because
they look upon it not merely as a sign of grief, but as an emblem
of bad fortune. Thus of those who had trusted in Egypt and
Assyria it was said, " Thou shalt be ashamed " of them : and they
v/ere to go forth with their hands on their head iu token of
their degradation and misery.*"


1_3, (1) they say, or, that is to say. The Prophet gives
his conclusion. shall . . again," see the law, Dc. xxiv. 4.
that land, in wh. such people dwelt as could take back aa
adulteress, yet return, some regard this as an imiierative ;*
but others render, " and thinkest thou to return unto ]\Ie ?"« (2)
high places, the scenes of idolatries, which are regarded as
spiritual adulteries, in tho ways, illus. by Ge. xxxviii. 14,

Cap. iii. 4, 5.]



4.rabian, or desert robber, watching for prey.'' (3) showers,
etc.. see De. xxviii. 24.

JS'ofe 0)1 r. 2. — Every one knows the general intention of the
Prophet, but Chardin has given so sli-ong and lively a description
of the eagerness that attends tlieir looking out for prey, that I
am persuaded my readers will be pleased with it. '• Thus the
Arabs wait for caravans with the most violent avidity, looking
about them on all sides, raising themselves up on their horses,
running here and there to see if they cannot perceive any smoke,
or dust, or tracks on the ground, or any other marks of people
passing along."'

4, 5. (4) from this time, i.e. the time of Josiah's reforma-
tion. God would have the penitent return not merely an out-
ward act, but inward and sincere, the guide," lit. familiar
friend, but here meaning /ni.^luuid. Father, husband, are the
'•two most endearing appellations that could have been em-
ploj'cd." (5) spoken, in the public profession of reformation,
as thou couldest, i.e. persistently. " Her words were fair,
but her deeds were false."

i'he ffiddc of youth (v. 4). — T. Tlie young need a guide — 1. On
account of their ignorance ; 2. On account of their natural

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